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Pakistan minister refutes reports of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief's death, says Masood Azhar is alive

On Sunday, Pakistan-based Geo urdu News had reported that JeM chief and India's most wanted terrorist Masood Azhar is "alive".

Pakistan minister refutes reports of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief's death, says Masood Azhar is alive

The Culture and Information Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, on Monday said that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar is alive.

“He is alive. Maulana Masood Azhar is alive. We have no information of his death,” news agency ANI quoted Chohan as saying.

On Sunday, Pakistan-based Geo Urdu News had reported that JeM chief and India's most wanted terrorist Masood Azhar is "alive". Quoting unnamed sources close to Azhar's family, Geo urdu News reported that media reports claiming that JeM leader is dead are false.

The report came hours after reports emerged that JeM founder is dead. Pakistan government is yet to make any comment on Azhar's fate.

Talking to PTI, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that he is not aware about Azhar's death.

On Sunday, it was reported that Azhar died on March 2 at a military hospital in Pakistan's Rawalpindi. Top intelligence sources had claimed that Azhar died due to renal failure.

Few days ago, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had admitted that Masood Azhar is in Pakistan but is 'very unwell'. Speaking to CNN, Qureshi had said, "He is in Pakistan. According to my information. he's very unwell. He is unwell to the extent that he cannot leave his house."

When asked why Pakistan has failed to arrest Azhar, who is responsible for causing so much tension between India and Pakistan, Qureshi said India must give actionable evidence to Pakistan against Azhar. 

On February 14, a convoy of 78 vehicles carrying nearly 2500 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was attacked on Jammu-Srinagar highway in Pulwama district by a JeM suicide bomber resulting in the martyrdom of 40 soldiers.

On February 26, 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets of Indian Air Force (IAF) bombed JeM's training camp inside Pakistan killing "a very large number" of terrorists and their trainers. Azhar later confirmed that the air strikes indeed took place at the terror camp of JeM at Balakot.